Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

VALENTINE'S DAY GRUMP? NOT ME!

I'm not an advocate for Valentine's Day but I am not one of the grumps who oscillate between, "What a money-grabbing scam" and "Why do we need a day to tell someone we love then? We should do that everyday". And these are just the people in happy relationships.

I, on the other hand, am of the mindset that any day where you get to celebrate love and being in love, or even wanting to be in love is a good thing. I agree that there is a certain corporate, money-making element to it all. But just two months ago, weren't you standing in the Christmas rush, handing over your plastic card to a frazzled sales girl so your girlfriend would enjoy her new Body Shop basket/knee high boots/Coach purse?

And in May are you going to abstain from sending your mother a card to wish her a Happy Mother's Day? Will you do the same in June to your father? For the majority, I highly doubt you will. And those are the two actual holidays invented by corporations.

Valentine's Day, on the other hand, has a lot of history and meaning behind it. There is no need to go overboard. Flowers and chocolate are nice, cards are actually even nicer if you take the time to write a proper message in them. But, most of all, it's just a nice opportunity to tell someone you love them. Think small.

So, stop being a grump and enjoy it already!

The Oatmeal has it right!

Friday, February 3, 2012

F**K OFF, WE'RE FULL!

Sometimes, I get very very angry at Britain. I get frustrated and upset and my mind boggles. Why? Two words: immigration laws.

On my Youth Mobility Scheme visa, I am not considered an immigrant. The visa espouses how wonderful it is that I am considered a resident for the two years that my visa is valid; I can come and go as I please; I can work as much as I am able and I can rent a home, open a bank account, get myself a mobile phone and even make friends (oh yes, they're very kind like that). Of course, I have no access to benefits - recourse to public funds they call it - though I don't actually want them. I have done fine without them and only hope that continues.

But you know what I can't do? I can't stay. I have spent the last two years working hard, paying taxes, making very good friends and falling in love - both with the city and a boy. However, it means nothing to the government. At the end of my visa's two year grant, I must pack up and leave, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and go back to a place I no longer feel is home.



I understand immigration frustrations. There is a JobCentre at the end of my street, and when I see the line-up that forms outside it each morning, I understand completely. Britain - London especially - is running out of jobs faster than it can create them. It has run out of money, did so a long time ago. The world is in shambles and there are people coming in, seeking asylum from war, poverty and human rights violations, and it is becoming harder and harder to support these people who might actually need the help.

For selfish reasons, though, I want to stand in front of a tribunal and state my case. I have taken no one's job really - they wanted to get rid of the old Marketing Manager and so they did. I found out that my role was meant to go either to me or another Canadian girl and I won out. So . . . nobody in the UK was suitable anyway!

Now, I know this means I can probably get sponsored by my company. I have thought that through carefully and decided against it for various but very valid reasons. I have chosen the university route - that's right, I am going to do my Master's.

I have done it all legally and put down the beginnings of what might be roots. Wish me luck as I do my applications!